Turning My Homesickness into a Home Away From Home
Elena, Milan, Spring 2015
March 3, 2015

Elena - Spring 15 - Milan

The only way I have been able to survive being away from home is making some of the greatest friends from all over the world. This picture was taken on my 21st birthday, of which they made so special!

Coming to Milan, I had no idea how I was going to pack my life into 2 suitcases for almost 5 months. But after getting settled in here, there were a few things that I forgot at home. When I looked at the weather for what I needed to pack, I saw that the lows were only 40s and highs around 60s for the time that I am here. Being from Kansas City, this is warm for the wintertime! So I packed one puffy coat and minimum layers for the cold. Since it is still winter season in Milan, I don’t know about what I recommend for spring time. However, some items that I wish I had brought that I ended up buying in the wintertime here include: more coats (peacoats), more long sleeved shirts, a winter hat, and at least one pair of booties. Obviously I knew that Milan is the fashion capital of the world, but after seeing all of the beautiful coats and fur coats and accessories, I wish I had brought every single one of my coats that I own. Because regardless of what the Milanese wear under their coats, they are fashionable from under their coats to over it.

Elena - Spring 15 - Milan

One of my favorite meals at a Japanese restaurant named Saien, that me and my friends have become frequents to

However, I did bring some things that are useful while I have been here. I do laundry at least once a week but bringing 2 pairs of jeans, 2 weeks worth of underwear, 1 week worth of socks, and 2 pairs of leggings is the right amount of clothing to pack without over-packing or under-packing the basics. I also came to Milan with 1 bottle of shampoo, conditioner, etc to last me until I could find a store to get these items when I ran out. Overall, I think I brought close to everything I needed and if I didn’t, it is easy to buy anything I need (or want) here!

Elena - Spring 15 - Milan

Milan sunsets are just one of the beauties of this city that won’t ever get old

Preparing for my time abroad, I wasn’t as excited as I was nervous to say goodbye to my home, friends, and family for a whole semester. I knew I wasn’t going to be as excited until I officially was here in Milan because I knew it was going to be hard to say goodbye. But in the months/ weeks coming up to the day I left, my preparation included doing all the paperwork and tasks needed to be abroad. These included: letting the bank know I was going to be out of the country, applying for a credit card, getting all the prescriptions I would need for 5 months, and of course gathering everything I was going to need for my time abroad. The time in between fall semester ending and my time to leave the states, I had 3 weeks to do my preparation which also included eating all my favorite foods and making time to see all my friends and family. It was very stressful and hectic, but I knew it would all pay off in the end!

Elena - Spring 15 - Milan

“Costine In Salsa Barbecue Alla Kansas City” Seeing a little bit of home on a menu in Milan was pretty cool

The first few weeks in Milan, it didn’t feel real that I was actually living here. It took me a while to go from the vacation feeling to feeling that I was soon going to pick up the Italian culture and feel like a local. But the more I ventured around the city, talked to locals and picked up Italian sayings, I felt more and more comfortable being here and started to feel more like an Italian while slowly leaving some American ways behind. I can’t think of a time that I specifically experienced culture shock, but the second day of being here I remember it all sinking in that I had 5 months here. That was the only time it hit me and I experienced a lot of homesickness that day. We had a week to get adjusted before classes started and I remember being excited for classes to start so I could get into a routine and a schedule. After that, I haven’t felt the same homesickness. As of March 1st, I will have been here about a month and a half. By this time, I miss my family and friends, but I know when May comes, I won’t want to return home because I already feel like Milan is becoming a second home.

Elena - Spring 15 - Milan

My first snowy day in Milan


Elena is a current student at University of Missouri studying at Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti in Italy during the Spring 2015 term.

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